Girls Season 4 Episode 10 recap

Everything is perfect, until it isn’t.

I know how elementary it seems, but I appreciated how delicately Girls approached this theme in their season finale, which was mostly devoid of the guest stars who trod so heavily over this season, and kind of hardcore what the show has always been. They get a little ahead, and then a little behind, and it’s very hard to tell at the end of the day whether you’ve won or lost.

Except for Shoshanna, who is going to Japan! I love this. Standard drama says you’re supposed to have the character change through action, and this story does none of that.  Shoshanna is kind of going to Japan already when Jason Ritter says don’t go, and then she allows Ray’s boss to tell her to Lean In, but …she was always kind of going to do that, which is awesome. I believe that Shoshanna would have kind of shrugged at Jason Ritter while making sure to tell Aidy Bryant by…probably Wednesday. I only wish that in the flash forward there had been a “Wednesday” scene with Shoshanna discussing her rider for relocation requirements.

As for Jessa…I still don’t like her but I do appreciate that they went all the way to saving her as a character by making her not yammer to be heard, just getting in and doing the right thing. I do think it is a GLORIOUSLY large stretch from ‘got a pregnant woman to go to the hospital’ to ‘I’m going to be a therapist’, but I suppose that’s what next season is about. Watching her try. I can’t care that much because I don’t know what it is she wants, since as recently as last episode it was a grown man who still calls himself ‘Ace’. 

Still, I suppose she can counsel Marnie once she deals with the inevitable hurdle of somehow being more successful than her husband, who I assume is in the depths of misery somewhere getting drunk on kombucha. I know that it is fashionable to dump on Allison Williams and overall I can take or leave her but every beat where Marnie is miserable but can’t let an opportunity to talk about her musical prowess go by is an absolute gem.  If she does nothing else, she has that very specific very small performance thing absolutely perfectly. It’s a niche.

I don’t know what else there is to say about her, though. The thing is that while she always does what she thinks she should want, according to her precise age and station – remember Elijah telling her to grow up? – like Jessa, I don’t know what she actually wants. I don’t know if she’s an actual person. I do know that if a job as a weather girl came calling tomorrow she would abandon every single one of her musical principles, and I love it.

I don’t know about Hannah and Fran – except that they are together six months from now. And I don’t know how likely it is that you come home and find your ex-boyfriends’ probably deranged sister giving birth in your bathtub. But I know the calls that Hannah makes to her parents so well I could mouth them. Not because of the specifics, but because that thing you learn to do – asking whether “Mommy” is okay, and knowing that if she lies you might have to pry your way into the truth – is so heartwrenching and terrifying and also feels like you’re taking care of someone else. It is of course the point where, just after having watched a baby being born, Hannah truly becomes a parent herself.   Especially as an only child, she will have a full time job taking care of her parents and their emotional issues.   

I can’t stress how excellent this is.  It’s been done on television before, this idea of adult children supporting their parents, but it’s usually about a gorgeous woman in her late 30s discussing her mother with her husband as they get ready for bed. The idea that you can feel so much like a kid yourself and yet so responsible for these strong, staunchly loving people who have never shown any vulnerability before now – I love it. The episode at the hospital last year was a big one, and I love that they’ve replicated the tone here.

I don’t know what to say about the flash forward. There it is, I guess. It does make me absolutely clueless and  - yes, I’m about to say it – excited at where Season 5 might go. Who knew?

Attached - Lena Dunham out in NYC last week.